Introduction: Guide to Finding the Best Loan Companies and Best Online Loans

Heading to the bank to ask for a loan can be a harrowing experience. You never know what interest rate they are going to offer you or if they’ll even accept the loan you’re asking for.

Luckily, there are a number of top loan companies online that can offer you options and alternatives when it comes to finding the best loan company for your personal financial needs. 

Though there are certain advantages to financing your loan with your hometown brick-and-mortar bank, the sheer variety of loan companies that you can find online make it worth your while to shop around to see how the best online loans compare to those offered by traditional banks.

But with so many different top loan companies out there all claiming to be the best loan company, how do you know which one to choose?

In this brief article, AdvisoryHQ will look at why you should consider the best online lenders for your loan needs. Even if you’ve been a faithful patron of the same bank for years, we’ll let you know why it may be in your best interest to search the best loan companies for better deals.

We’ll then go on to offer our top seven tips for finding the best loan companies and the best online loans. We’ll end by offering a review of the top three best loan companies for bad credit.

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Why Consider the Best Online Lenders?

In our fast-paced society, we are always looking for quicker and more efficient alternatives. Instead of waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, more and more self-checkout stations are popping up. When it comes to our banking needs, more and more people are choosing the best online lenders over more traditional financial institutions.

Online banking and loan companies that offer their services online are beginning to take over the loan industry because of their convenience. Instead of getting dressed up to head to the local bank, you can apply for a personal loan, a car loan, or many other types of loans from competing loan lenders all from the comfort of your home.

Since so many different loan companies are online, you can easily compare different offers and deals to find the best rate for your personal financial situation. Furthermore, the sheer abundance of the best personal loan companies means that there is bound to be lots of competition that gradually drives down the interest rates in favor of borrowers. Instead of trusting blindly that your personal bank is offering you a good rate, it’s best to search for the best loan companies out there.

Why can the best online lenders offer lower rates than most banks? According to the Huffington Post, “Since online lenders don’t have the added expense of physical offices scattered throughout the country, they can offer lower rates and fees to lenders. The interest rates are also fixed, so you don’t have to worry about fluctuating interest rates through the life of your loan.”

Furthermore, most of the best loan companies for bad credit are more lenient with their standards regarding who applies for loans. While banks have strict rules regarding credit scores and collateral, the best loan company for bad credit may very well accept you for a loan even if your credit score is less than optimal.

See Also: Getting an Interest-Only Mortgage this year? What You Need to Know

Top Seven Tips for Finding the Best Personal Loan Companies

If you have decided to try your luck with different loan lenders online, the best loan companies for your individual needs will depend on a variety of factors.  Before signing your name to the dotted line offered by the self-proclaimed “best loan company for bad credit,” read through these top seven tips to finding the best personal loan companies. 

1. Check to See if Your Brick-and-Mortar Bank Provides Direct Debit

Because of the competition that many of the top loan companies online are creating, some brick-and-mortar banks are searching for ways to bring down their interest rates and allow for more flexibility and ease of use. Like many of the best personal loan companies online, some banks will allow you to set up a direct debit system on a loan that you take out.

This setup will allow the bank to (usually) charge lower interest rates and will allow you to manage your loan from your computer. Since there are a host of advantages to maintaining a long-standing relationship with your local bank instead of searching for the best loan company online every time you need a loan, it may very well be worth your while to ask your bank if it provides direct debit services or other forms of online banking for loans.

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2. Use a Loans Comparison Service to Compare Loan Lenders

With so many different loan lenders out there, it can be hard to navigate through the different offers, promotions, and deals. There are, however, a number of online tools that will match your personal financial needs with the best loan companies that offer the services and tools you need. offers a helpful loan comparison service that can help you identify everything from the best loan company for bad credit to the best loan company for unsecured personal loans. This easy-to-use tool will give you information regarding the annual percentage rate, the total loan amount payable, monthly payment schedules, and more.

3. Be Wary of Too-Good-to-Be-True Offers

If you’ve ever heard a commercial by a loan company offering “rates as low as…”, that probably means that almost no one actually applies for those rates. Many of the supposedly top loan companies understand that a low annual percentage rate (APR) is what most borrowers are after. In order to draw your interest, they may advertise rates “as low as” 1.5% annually, for example.

Unless you have a perfect credit score or any other number of hard-to-come-by qualifications, odds are that you won’t apply for that rate. The best loan companies are those that don’t try to trick their customers with false advertising. Be on the lookout for loan lenders whose offers aren’t followed by multiple paragraphs of hard-to-understand fine print.

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4. Consider Peer-to-Peer Lending

Peer-to-peer lending is a relatively new form of applying for a loan. These websites provide a platform where individual loan lenders can finance your loan. By connecting borrowers and investors or lenders, you can find some great rates. Furthermore, these individual loan lenders are usually much more lenient than most banks and bigger financial institutions.

Lending Club is the most well-known and respected among the peer-to-peer lending websites. As of June 30, 2016, Lending Club had funded more than 20 billion dollars of loans, making them one of the top loan companies or platforms out there.

5. Pay Close Attention to Hidden Fees and Costs Not Advertised by Loan Companies

You may feel as if you’ve found the best loan company out there once you come across a low APR. It is important to remember, however, that interest rates are only one of the expenses you will be paying on your loan.

Even the best loan companies may charge you a number of hidden fees and charges. warns that “if your provider gives only an interest rate and doesn’t accurately disclose other fees, you won’t be able to calculate the APR and determine whether the loan is a good deal. Even worse, you might still be on the hook for origination fees, processing fees, application fees, and other costs. Make certain you know how much money will be deposited into your account after fees are paid, and follow up. Ask about prepayment penalties and read your loan documents carefully before you sign.”

6. Keep Your Finances Separate and Consider Other Loan Lenders for Your Business Loans

One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs and small-business owners tend to make is mixing up their personal and business finances. Starting and running your own business can be overwhelming, and sometimes it may very well feel as if your personal expenses aren’t separate at all. Nonetheless, searching for the best loan companies to help your business prosper is an important step for your financial independence.

Just as there are a number of loan companies online for personal loans, there are also a host of best loan companies that specialize in giving out the best online loans for businesses. is one of the most popular choices of best online lenders for small businesses. Your business can qualify for up to a $100,000 line of credit in a simple application process. You can learn more about how to use Kabbage here.

Related: How to Buy a House with No Money Down | Guide | Buying a Home with No Down Payment

7. Read Reviews on the Best Loan Companies

Before signing your name to any loan, it’s important to find out if the loan lender you’ve chosen is reputable. While the Internet does provide you with a number of options and alternatives that can help you find a loan with more favorable terms, there are unfortunately a number of scam artists out there.

While you are researching different loan companies, be sure to also read reviews that other clients have left regarding that company. Trust Pilot is a great site that offers unbiased reviews. You may very well be to find out that the loan company you were about to choose habitually charges strict prepayment penalties or raises their interest rates without prior notice.

Best Loan Companies for Bad Credit

People with bad credit usually have the hardest time finding loan companies willing to give them a loan. Other times, they may find themselves at the mercy of predatory lenders who charge exorbitant interest rates. If you find yourself in this situation, check out these best loan companies for bad credit.

This website connects folks with bad credit to a network of willing lenders. You will need to show that you have at least a $1,000 monthly income and that you have been employed for three months. If you can do that, you may receive offers from a number of loan lenders that offer you competing rates.

Springleaf Financial

This financial institution is one of the best loan companies for people with bad credit. They will work with you even if you have a credit score under 600. While their APR is much higher than other rates, they have many branches around the country and may be an option for you.

Peer Form

Peer Form is a peer-to-peer lending network for people with bad credit. You can get competitive interest rates and even apply for loans up to $25,000, making them one of the best loan companies for bad credit on the market.

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Taking the Time to Find the Best Loan Companies Can Impact Your Financial Well-Being

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There is nothing worse than being stuck in a loan with punishing interest rates that impedes you from getting out of debt.

Fortunately, there are a number of loan companies out there where you can find favorable terms for your lending needs. With a little bit of time and dedication, you can discover the best loan companies that can help you take control of your debt and improve your overall financial well-being.

Read More: Top Bad Credit Mortgage Lenders for Bad Credit Borrowers (Mortgage Lenders and Programs)

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.